Welcome to Zenitude’s blog where you can follow us while we travel slow in our Lagoon catamaran. We update this blog frequently when we are cruising to let family and friends know where we are. Check the complete story of our adventures that started in 2006 when Zenitude became our home and cruising our way of life. Graciela and Oscar

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Lagoon Catamaran For Sale

Zenitude, a Lagoon 41' S2 Owner's Version is now for sale. 

After 13 years living on board we decided it's time for a change in lifestyle. 


Check her features plus all the extensive maintenance done in  'About Zenitude' tab above. 

Year built 2003. Asking 359,000 AUD (ONO)

Contact Oscar at 0459 311 457 for details. Alternative send us an e-mail at: sv.zenitude@hotmail.com

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Going North - From Gold Cost to Townsville

Zenitude was back on the water and ready to start our migration North looking for warmer temperatures by the end of May.

We left Gold Coast City Marina and after a quiet night in Little Sand Hills arrived to Mooloolaba the following day. I had plans to fly to Melbourne and then Sydney while our good friend Eduardo joined Oscar to keep sailing north. The idea was for them to get to Mackay where I would fly back with my cousin. She was visiting from Argentina to stay a couple of weeks with us.

The tricky part of the trip was to time correctly the crossing of Wide Bay Bar with calm weather, right tide and day light. With that in mind they left Mooloolaba at first light. Conditions were good when they arrived at the bar entrance and crossed without incidents behind 2 other sailboats one hour before sunset. They just made it to Pelican Bay with the last light to anchor for the night.

They left the following morning with favorable current and tide on the Great Sandy Strait and kept going overnight with the idea to get as far as possible ahead of strong winds. When they were close to Great Keppel islands the wind and seas were already uncomfortable and Oscar decided to enter Rosslyn Bay Marina in Yeppoon. The weather was not showing any improvement for the following days and Eduardo had to go back to his work commitments.

This is not a bad area to get stuck and we adjusted our plans. After my cousin Ana arrived in Sydney we flew to Rockhampton where Oscar was waiting for us to board Zenitude.

With Ana Maria in Zenitude


In the 2 weeks we had to get to Townsville we stopped in many nice places for our guest to enjoy. We were really lucky with the weather as we travel thru the Percy Islands and the Whitsundays. There was even time to spend a couple of days in Magnetic Island and do some of the walking tracks with magnificent views. A couple of days before her departure date we arrived at Breakwater Marina in Townsville.

We plan to stay around this area for quite a while as we prepare to receive our next friend in September.

G.





Friday, 8 March 2019

Summer in Brisbane and Gold Coast

We stayed at East Coast Marina in Manly for most of November and part of December. Manly is not far from Brisbane. We enjoyed the marina life for a while and Manly was surprisingly fun with all the Summer activities, the local markets and many of our cruising friends around, away from cyclone areas.

By mid December we traveled to Sydney and Melbourne for the Christmas holidays. Soon the New Year came and the first week of January we left the marina to spend some time around Moreton Bay before heading to the Gold Coast.

The weather was nice and we decided to explore Moreton Island. Just a couple of days in Tangalooma Wrecks were enough to convince us to look for a quieter place. We tried to go to the dolphin feeding attraction in the beach across the resort but incredibly you can only see the dolphins if you book a tour with them. This is a public beach, but apparently they can block you from accessing it while the dolphins come for their afternoon snack. We've seen wild dolphins feeding in Tin Can Bay and decided to skip it this time.
Tangalooma Wrecks, crowded during Summer


Not far south from Tangalooma we discovered  Little and Big Sand Hills. What a beautiful place with amazing sand dunes and water so clear that you can hardly believe this place exists inside Moreton Bay.

Big Sand Hills


Little Sand Hills


Hundreds of starfish can be seen at low tide
After spending 2 fantastic weeks we headed to the Gold Coast. We stopped at Dunwich (Deanabilla Bay) which we found has a good anchorage and a little town, where is possible to buy fuel and food. Expensive in the island but well provisioned. The anchorage gets a bit of swell from the ferries, but it seems well protected from easterly winds.

Arriving at the Gold Coast we headed to the anchorage at the Marine Stadium. We've heard a lot about this anchorage but had never been there so we decided to try it while the weather was good. It is a nice area but the tourist helicopters drive you crazy during the afternoons. After a couple of days we decided it was time to finally reach our destination at the Gold Coast City Marina and take care of regular maintenance jobs.

Early in March Zenitude went out of the water and into the storage area in Boatworks as we got ready for our upcoming overseas trip.

G.



Monday, 10 December 2018

Slowly Going South - From Cairns to Brisbane

19 September to 2 November 2018

This year the northerlies came early and we had great weather to sail south. We did it slowly stopping in many places as we've done many times before. We did stop at a few new places like the popular Middle Percy and Island Head Creek where we hided from unexpected bad weather, great anchorage by the way.

The highlight of this trip was the 5 days we spent in Lady Musgrave, what a fantastic place. We had tried many times before to include it in our stops but there was never a good chance to stop there for one reason or another. This time we didn't want to miss it, we were early in the season coming down and the weather was perfect.

Lady Musgrave:










From Lady Musgrave we headed to Bundaberg and then it was the usual stops at Urangan, Pelican Bay, Mooloolaba and finally arriving at East Coast Marina in Manly, Brisbane where we plan to stay for the summer.

Our new engines made all the difference in this long way back as there was always enough power available to keep over 6.5 average speed if we need it. We covered good distances and always got to our destination earlier than expected.

G.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

From Maggie to Cairns with friends and family

16 August to 18 September 2018

Our friends Eduardo and Liliana came all the way from Argentina to sail with us. They've been with us in the Caribbean and the Pacific and this was the first time in Australia. They are quite familiar with life on board, it was great to have them back.

They arrived in Townsville and after a day visiting koalas and kangaroos in Billabong  Sanctuary Park we set sail towards the north. The plan was get to Cairns stopping along the way. This is a fantastic area and there are many reefs to explore not far from the continent. We stopped at Orpheus, Otter Reef, Dunk Island, Russell Island and Upolo Reef arriving at Cairns in time for our friends to take their flight to visit Sydney before returning home.









Soon after our friends left came our son with the grandkids and we spent a nice week between sea and land activities with the kids.



Once everyone left we decided it was time to start heading back south, slowly, towards the Gold Coast for the summer.

G.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

A windy week in the Whitsundays before heading to Maggie

Ready to leave Mackay we kept waiting for a nice week of calm sunny weather to spend time around the Whitsundays. What we were getting was beautiful sunny days with strong winds or nice calm days with lots of rain, So, we waited, we were not in a hurry.

All in vain, there seemed to be no change in the weather pattern and finally we left on the 5th of July when forecast showed 3 reasonable days ahead with a strong southerly change arriving on the early hours of the 4th day.  This was good enough to get going, enjoy a bit of time at the islands and find cover to hide from the strong winds.

We headed to Shaw Island where finally were able to install our re-vamped sail bag back in place on a very quiet morning. With no wind it was easy to raise the full main sail at anchor and attach the bag properly to the boom, refit the lazy jacks and reef lines and then drop the main sail nicely in place.  It was still hard work and it took us about 4 hours to get it all done.

Looking at the weather forecast and seeing the strong southerly change winds would arrive in the middle of the night we decided to hide in Hamilton Marina. Good decision. When the winds arrived, at 4:00 in the morning we were tightly docked and secure. Later on a fellow cruiser that took refugee in Mackay Marina reported wind gusts of over 50 knots at the docks when the front was passing.
Zenitude in Hamilton Marina


It was a windy week in the Whitsundays and at the end it was time to move on. Our next destination is Townsville where we are receiving old friends from overseas in August. With that in mind we departed on the 14th of July with great weather for the trip north.

We sailed short legs to places we've been before. The first stop was Gloucester Island but rather than stopping in the south of the island nearby the resorts as we've done several times we decided to try the northwest part of the island. Our cruising guide mentions this as a popular spot for fishing trawlers but it is isolated and the only trawler that was there left before sunset. The place was all to ourselves. The guide also mentions this area is prone to wind 'bullets', this is wind that accelerates as it comes down from the mountain.  I must say the guide is right, not likely we'll try that anchorage again. We were lucky that eventually the wind completely died and we had a good night of sleep.

At first light the next day we sailed towards Cape Upstart and the day after to Cape Bowling Green. Two great stops on the way north. It was great to confirm that with the new engines and the calm weather we could have skipped the second stop and reach our final destination with enough daylight even in these short daylight days. We couldn't have done that with the old engines. However, Cape Bowling Green looked so appealing in the beautiful sunny day that we decided to stop there anyway and enjoy the afternoon.

At anchor in Cape Bowling Green

The sun smiles before disappearing in Cape Bowling Green 
We woke up at 6:00 AM for the final leg towards Magnetic Island to find a thick fog with no visibility. As there were north easterlies in the forecast for the afternoon we decided to go anyway hoping the fog would raise with the sun. It was the strangest thing, as soon as we started moving we left the fog behind, it seemed that the fog wast just over the inside of the cape.

Before noon we were approaching Magnetic Island (Maggie for the locals) and soon after we arrived at Horseshoe Bay. We found the familiar place as beautiful as ever, dropped anchor and relaxed, planning to be here for quite some time.

A perfect day at Horseshoe Bay


A perfect sunset at Maggie
G.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Back on board and ready to head north

We are back from our land travels and after almost a month getting Zenitude ready we are about to start our way up north towards Townsville and eventually Cairns.

The main project this time was the installation of new solar panels. After a good analysis we decided that new and more powerful solar panels would be better than getting a new wind generator, these have given us enough problems already and we feel like giving up on them. We have to wait and see how we go with power this season. 

But most of our time was spent refitting everything we removed to prevent damage if a cyclone hit during our time away. Incredible how much work that was, not surprising though, always when you do work on a boat new tasks that usually can't wait, somehow appear. For example, after removing everything that had been stored in the guest head (bimini, jib, etc.) I found a hatch handle on the floor, sure enough one of the small hatches had given up. This meant another week while waiting for a replacement hatch to arrive. The last big job, when we thought  we were done and were getting the main sail ready again, we found the sail bag needed patch up, the Velcro that keeps it shut had almost completed disintegrated and needed replacement. This plus other bit and pieces took 3 extra days of sewing. Sail bag is now ready but we have been waiting for several days to get a brake in the wind so that we can put it back in place.


Going back on the water

Going down and into a marina berth with perfect weather while we work ...

Finally it seems we are ready, just waiting for the miserable weather to give us a break so we can set sail and get on our way.
G.